Could it be true? Has Obama fallen victim to the second term curse? That remains to be seen, but the outlook is rather promising… for us. Through his first term right up until two weeks ago the president seemed untouchable. Yet now, Jay Carney and Obama’s spin team must wage a daily game of whack-a-mole, trying to squash one scandal only to have another pop up.
September 11, 2012 – four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The Americans called for help, radioed in their position, and hoped for backup—it never came. Somewhere between Ambassador Chris Stevens’ harrowing call that they were under attack and his death and that of three other Americans, a special operations rescue team was called off; exactly who made that call, we still don’t know. In the immediate aftermath, the State Department and the White House claimed it wasn’t a terrorist attack, but rather a demonstration in response to an anti-Islam video. Talking points were scrubbed and Americans were intentionally misled in a purely political play designed to secure Obama’s re-election.
Next, we have officials at the IRS targeting conservative groups as far back as 2009. A government agency attacking others on a basis of political belief is reprehensible and should not be tolerated at any level; especially when that agency is the universally despised IRS. This was not just an isolated, obscure event at the bureau in Cincinnati; it now appears to be by design with national implications—and, let’s not forget that these are the guys responsible for enforcing Obamacare. Facts are still coming out, but it’s clear that the Obama administration knew about this in April, if not before. Was he hoping this would pass just as the others? Or did they sit on this information and then release it this week in an attempt to drown out the Benghazi coverage? How calculating are they?
Lastly, we have the most recent scandal wherein the Department of Justice ‘secretly’ pulled phone records of Associated Press reporters. The AP found this out on Friday and went public on Monday, calling it “a massive and unprecedented intrusion”. The DOJ says they were investigating the source of a national security leak in 2012, and had to look into reporters and their information gathering. This may be the most damning episode in ‘Down Goes The Administration’. The AP and other media outlets are furious. Obama’s presidency will not survive if the love affair between him and the press goes sour.
Am I surprised? No. From the Fast and Furious operation that left Brian Terry, a border patrol agent dead; to Solyndra, where $535 million in taxpayer went straight to Obama’s friends and supporters in a textbook case of crony corruption, this Administration has never played by the rules, respected the truth, or honored its promises of transparency. Of course, nothing has changed from the first term to the second term. Why would it? He’s gotten away with this behavior for over four years.
I’m not sure if any of these scandals will end up sticking to the Teflon President. Keep in mind, that all of the current scandals happened during Obama’s FIRST term and I’ve gotta say, I’m afraid to find out what’s in store for his encore.
With everything from the Kentucky Derby, to Cinco de Mayo, to the next tweet from Lindsay Lohan, keeping up on the economy takes focus. We’re so distracted by a plethora of side issues that it’s hard to focus on the real ones. Like the talking dog from the movie “Up” we can…
…get distracted. Allow me to pull you back to reality where we’re dealing with defective policies, excessive unemployment, and a stagnant economy.
Back in 2009, the Obama Administration predicted that today’s unemployment rate would be just over 5%. The president said his plan would save or create millions of jobs by increasing spending to the tune of $831 billion. That “stimulus” plan, with its shovel-ready jobs, failed miserably and became the laughing stock of his first term.
On Friday, the Department of Labor reported that the economy added 165,000 jobs in the month of April, while unemployment dropped slightly to 7.5%. The private sector added 186,000 new jobs, while government jobs decreased by 11,000. On the surface – and according to the media – this seems to somewhat resemble the “recovery” Obama described. They want us to believe this “recovery” has been consistent, the economy is growing, and unemployment is declining steadily – which is not the case.
Let’s look beyond the numbers, starting with this four-year low 7.5% unemployment rate. To be completely clear, the employment rate didn’t fall because of any uptick in hiring. Instead, it fell because frustrated Americans gave up looking for work. The number of Americans in the labor force has dropped to a record 63.3%. How does that 7.5% sound now?
Seemingly, this administration lacks the capacity to perform the task at hand. They still hope for recovery, but continue to pursue and implement bad policies. The economy should be number one, two, and three on the list of tasks for this administration. Instead, they’re focused on taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, giving morning-after pills to children, and pretending – again – that they’re going to close Guantanamo.
We’ve blinked and lost focus on the critical issues.
The “spring swoon” is in effect and we’ve got to pay attention. We can blame our distractions on the media for its lack of proper reporting, but what about the president? He has no excuse for his negligence and utter disregard for the real issues. Eyes front, Mr. President!
When my kids were small, they’d cover their eyes and think that because they couldn’t see the world, the world couldn’t see them. It was cute. It’s not so cute when the President of the United States does it though.
President Obama told Americans repeatedly that al Qaeda was “on the run.” Even the day after four Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Obama told supporters in Las Vegas, “a day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.” On September 18 and numerous other occasions, Obama said al Qaeda had been “decimated.” He continued the War-on-Terror-is-so-over-I-won’t-even-use-the-word-terror theme throughout his campaign.
Unfortunately, as many of us knew at the time, and as the Boston Marathon bombings made clear, that’s not true. No matter how gifted a speaker Barack Obama believes himself to be, he cannot will something to be true simply by saying it out loud.
It appears that the Obama Administration’s strict denial of reality is also partly to blame for the FBI and intelligence failures surrounding the Boston bombings. Following a September 2011 story in Wired Magazine, “FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims are ‘Violent, Radical,’” 57 Muslim advocacy groups wrote a letter to Obama Administration officials complaining about “the federal government’s use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims.” Instead of asking why these groups weren’t directing their energy towards the jihadists around the world who use the Quran to incite violence and murder thousands of innocent people, Obama’s people promptly “pulled more than 700 documents and 300 presentations,” scrubbing from its counterterrorism training mentions of Islam, Muslim, Hamas, and jihad—which is now referred to as “violent extremism.” Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies tells the Washington Times, “the fact is, religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training. The FBI can’t talk about Islam and can’t talk about jihad.”
Well, if the Commander-in-Chief is claiming the War on Terror is over and you remove Muslim extremism as a red flag then it’s no wonder the FBI missed the fact that jihadist Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed a threat to America. Obama wants Islam and terrorism not to be connected, so he ties the hands of our intelligence community and forces them to operate as if they aren’t. Does this make you feel safer?
The same disregard for reality can be found in his approach to domestic issues. As predicted by its opponents, the health care law has been disastrous. Even the author of the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Max Baucus, sees “a huge train wreck coming down” with the law’s implementation. In a press conference yesterday however, an extraordinarily out-of-touch Obama said, “and there will be stories that can be written that say, oh, look, this thing is not working the way it’s supposed to, and this happened and that happened. And that’s pretty much true of every government program that’s ever been set up…But if we stay with it and we understand what our long-term objective is…if we keep that in mind, then we’re going to be able to drive down costs; we’re going to be able to improve efficiencies in the system; we’re going to be able to see people benefit from better health care. And that will save the country money as a whole over the long term.” No acknowledgement of the concerns expressed by small business people, no answers to questions raised by Senator Baucus and others. “Everything is fine because I say that it is fine. My presidency has been a roaring success because I want it to be.”
America is not safer, our economy is worse and the man charged with protecting us and leading our recovery says things like, “it’s not optimal,” and “glitches and bumps.”
My kids figured out that we could see them by the time they reached their 3rd birthday. It’s time for Barack Obama to uncover his eyes and see the world for what it is. Before he hurts our country even more.
Earlier this week, America watched the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Present at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, were the four living former presidents, as well as the current president. It was the second time all five men have been together. It was first time the differences between them were so obvious.
Bush 43 spoke with warmth, humor, and class – three words that describe him perfectly. At the end of his speech, he was so moved by his love for this nation that he could barely get out his last two words, “God bless.” He spoke them with tears in his eyes, and obvious love in his heart.
Bush 41 spoke from his wheelchair, his health not being what it once was. After receiving a standing ovation, he stood for a few moments with the help of his son and wife – a huge smile of gratitude on his face.
Honorary member of the Bush family, Bill Clinton, expressed his genuine affection for 41, 43, and Barbara Bush. He also joked about 43 painting him in the nude (I guess he still can’t keep his pants on – sorry, I couldn’t help it), and in a moment that seemed off-script, exclaimed “I LIKE President Bush!” It’s no secret that Clinton’s two favorite ex-presidents aren’t the ones from his political party.
Carter spoke briefly, in his uniquely uncomfortable way, starting by mentioning the disputed 2000 election that propelled Bush into office. He spent the rest of his speech praising Bush’s humanitarian work.
Obama, as usual, spent a large portion of his speech talking about himself. On a day meant to honor the man he’s spent years blaming for his own failures, Obama focused on his membership in the “Presidents’ Club,” and how hard his job is. Ironically, though, he spoke one of the most apt lines of the day when he said, “He takes his job seriously, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously.” Too bad Obama doesn’t realize that the opposite is true in his case. It was an amazing contrast. Three friends filled with love for their country, flanked by an awkward old man in sunglasses and a selfish narcissist.
Overall, it was a great day for a great man. I’m grateful to President George W. Bush for his service to this nation and I look forward to visiting his library in the near future.
Sequestration, North Korea threatening to start a nuke fest, a budget passed 92 days late…and last night The White House partied like it was “1999.” Since 1978, the Memphis Soul performance at the White House has showcased America’s finest talent and this year’s event surely did not disappoint.
Let’s face the facts – the era of prosperity and scenes of lavish parties thrown by the Reagans, Clintons and Bushes trumpeted prosperous economic times. Now, times have changed for millions of Americans—instead of Memphis Soul, the night should have been called the “Washington Blues”.
Our “Party President” lives in a fantasy world; his empathy is selective and his actions are suspect. Cutting border patrols, White House tours and other government programs, Obama then spends millions of taxpayer dollars on parties and vacations.
Sure, Obama is giving back five percent of his salary to the treasury – a whopping $20,000—to show his “sacrifice” to a nation that is already trillions of dollars of debt. But even Obama needs a vacation from his weekends of golf on the taxpayer’s dime, right?
The President should be ashamed after Tuesday night’s extravagant display. While the likes of Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah and Cyndi Lauper crooned, the only thing missing was Prince on stage alongside the other musical glitterati. If the president wants to party like it’s 1999 he should get the unemployment rate to what it was in 1999– 4.1%.
His scripted speeches on the teleprompter, claim that he knows Americans are hurting, but his actions and off-the-cuff remarks make it clear, Barack Obama doesn’t have a clue about the average taxpayer’s daily struggles. Barack, the music stopped playing a long time a ago, you’re the only one dancing. The party’s over.
In the late 90’s I staffed then-Congressman John Shadegg on his Budget Committee assignment. Now-Governor of Ohio, John Kasich was the Chairman of the committee.
At the beginning of each February, there was a buzz of anticipation as we waited for the President to release his annual budget – which was delivered to the Hill packaged in three or four separate books. We would pull all-nighters combing through tables and language to see what trickery President Clinton was using to try to mask deficits for as far as the eye could see.
Alas, it is April 10, and Obama is just now getting around to releasing his budget. It says something about a person – who voluntarily ran for election to a job that has legal requirements – but ignores laws and rules. The President is, by law, required to release a budget in early February. But Obama thumbed his nose at the law, and our nation, and decided that getting a March Madness bracket done and shutting down the White House to visitors was much, much more important.
How can we expect Obama to get serious about fiscal restraint when he doesn’t respect the process enough to do the basics of his job?
Republicans in the House should set up working conference room, put Obama’s budget on the table, and invite the President over to go through the budget line-by-line, like he promised he would.
“And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.” (Presidential Debate, Sept. 28, 2008)
Of course, they’d be waiting there, by themselves, for a long time…
It could’ve been the start of a joke: an actor from Hollywood, a Polish priest, and a British lady got together… Instead, it was the start of freedom’s greatest story. With well-explained principles, well-executed ideas, and an unflagging belief in the human spirit, this trio peacefully ended the Cold War and brought freedom to millions.
Each added unique and complementary qualities to the group—kind of like the X-Men—creating an undefeatable force. Pope John Paul II possessed quiet grace and Christ-like dedication to the less fortunate, Ronald Reagan sunny optimism and compelling leadership, and the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, bold tenacity and intrepid force. (Imagine the dinner party they’ll have in Heaven tonight!)
They understood, and made it a popularly accepted truth, that freedom leads to prosperity because it allows human ingenuity, creativity, and aspiration—the human spirit—to thrive. In light of this, they argued, government’s sole responsibility in the freedom-prosperity equation is to protect and defend freedom; not to provide freedom, God does that, and not to create prosperity, people do that. In performing its role, government must treat people equally, not make them equal, as the current inhabitant of the White House would like to do.
Thatcher said, “We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important… Everyone must be allowed to develop the abilities he knows he has within him, and she knows she has within her, in the way they choose.”
Thatcher and Reagan eloquently explained the virtues of conservatism and the perils of liberalism/collectivism/socialism/communism. Given the clear, obvious distinction, voters in both countries chose the conservative vision again and again.
Thatcher could delightfully dissect her opponents’ demagoguery with a clear-sighted wit. Take for example this 1990 exchange between Margaret Thatcher and Simon Hughes, a Labour Party MP:
HUGHES: There is no doubt that the Prime Minister, in many ways, has achieved substantial success. There is one statistic, however, that I understand is not challenged, and that is that, during her 11 years as Prime Minister, the gap between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% in this country has widened substantially. At the end of her chapter of British politics, how can she say that she can justify the fact that many people in a constituency such as mine are relatively much poorer, much less well housed and much less well provided for than they were in 1979? Surely she accepts that that is not a record that she or any Prime Minister can be proud of.
THATCHER: People on all levels of income are better off than they were in 1979. The hon. Gentleman is saying that he would rather that the poor were poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. That way one will never create the wealth for better social services, as we have. What a policy. Yes, he would rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. That is the Liberal policy.
I mourn her loss and I mourn the current absence of a conservative champion like her on the world stage. Thankfully, with the nonstop coverage of her death and the many tributes to her, the Iron Lady can take one final swipe at the Left. President Obama has argued for months that the rich must pay their “fair share” and the government must spend more, but today, millions will be reminded over and over again that, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Thank you Margaret Thatcher. The world is a better, freer place for your efforts. Farewell, Iron Lady.
The cover of the February 2013 issue of Vanity Fair (I was in the waiting room, ok?) has a headline that screams “SEX SCANDAL IN BUSH’S BACKYARD!” The headline is in all caps, has two words italicized, and uses three colors.
The clear intent is to make anyone who sees the cover think that either the 41st or 43rd president engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, or that is somehow connected to it.
Knowing that neither of these can be true, I read the article and, sure enough, the scandal has nothing to do with either President Bush or any member of the Bush family. As far as their backyard, the Bush family’s yard apparently encompasses a large portion of Maine.
You see, the story was about Alexis Wright, the Zumba Madam of Kennebunk. The Bush family owns a compound in nearby Kennebunkport. No member of the Bush family is involved in any way. In fact, “Bush” appears only three times in the article: once in the teaser paragraph, “Many in the picturesque Maine town of Kennebunk—a short trip from the Bush-family compound—knew that the sweet, friendly Zumba teacher was leading a double life”; once in the fourth paragraph, “Wright’s choice of a locale in which to conduct her affairs was either inspired or twisted or both, depending on your point of view: the lovely, quaint seaside town of Kennebunk, Maine, population 10,798, home of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, the heart of the land originally settled by the Puritans, just a hop, skip, and jump from Kennebunkport, where the Bush family has its Walker’s Point summer compound”; and one last time toward the middle of the article. It is the third and final mention that is most irritating. The entire paragraph is below.
“But what really made the story of the ‘Zumba Madam’ go viral was Wright’s meticulous recordkeeping. Thanks to that, prosecutors can do something they often can’t in this type of case: figure out who the alleged johns were and charge them with crimes, too. The record of who did what has become known simply as “The List”—at one point, it was rumored to include 174 names—and the tantalizing prospect of finding out who is on it caused a feeding frenzy among the national media, from the Today show to Good Morning America to CNN. ‘The town was literally under siege,’ says Laura Dolce, the editor of the local paper, the York County Coast Star. ‘You couldn’t walk down Main Street without being hounded by media. You couldn’t go into a coffee shop without reporters’ trying to overhear what people were talking about.’ Who might be on the list? A member of the Bush family? Someone from the Secret Service? General Petraeus? Dolce says that she was asked about all three. The answers were no, no, and no. But, really, it could have been—and could still be—anyone.”
Translation: Bush didn’t do it . . .but, I mean, he’s so awful he could have! And remember, that General Petraeus guy had an affair!
This is beyond the pale. There are prostitutes in Washington, D.C. Are they in Obama’s backyard? There are prostitutes in New York, where Vanity Fair is headquartered. Is there a SEX SCANDAL IN VANITY FAIR’S LOBBY?! (actually, there probably is…)
The vileness of the article doesn’t stop at Bush-bashing. These words actually appear in the article “And there may be some stereotypical, yet satisfying, hypocrisy: one of the men billed his house-building business as ‘A Christian Family Owned Company.’ ”
Really? Does author Bethany McLean dislike Christians so much that she’s “satisfied” when one falls so far from grace? That man may have children, his family may be torn apart. But hey, at least Ms. McLean is satisfied.
Do yourself a favor next time you see Vanity Fair in a waiting room: just stare at the wall.
China’s Suntech Power, one of the world’s largest producers of solar panels, has recently declared bankruptcy. Suntech also announced the closure of its only U.S. factory in Goodyear, Arizona.
The bankruptcy of Wuxi Suntech, which supplies more than 95 percent of Suntech Power’s products, was reported by the official Xinhua news agency Wednesday.
Suntech Power, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, at its peak had a market capitalization of $16 billion. But the company was experiencing a drop in profits due to a global oversupply of solar panels, falling prices and anti-dumping tariffs imposed on China by the U.S. government.
Last Friday it failed to make payments on $541 million worth of convertible debt, the first time a major Chinese company had defaulted on its bonds.
Suntech, like many other green companies, received lucrative governmental incentives.
Suntech, a large Chinese firm whose Goodyear solar panel factory was hailed as proof that government economic planning works. Indeed, when Suntech announced its plant in 2010, Gov. Jan Brewer proclaimed it the result of “the right incentive program to make business sense.”
Three years later, Suntech is shuttering the Goodyear plant and laying off its 43 remaining workers. But not before it pocketed $1.5 million in tax breaks from the state, $2.1 million from the federal government, and $500,000 in job training from the city. Goodyear also waived its plan review requirements and permit fees. Not for all firms, mind you, just for this one particular Chinese company with its grandiose promises.
Suntech’s bankruptcy is another example of the market illusion that is “green” investments. The global free-market might be heavily constrained but it still will not suffer technology that perpetually operates in the red. Despite this plain economic knowledge, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will give $150 million in manufacturing tax credits for green energy companies.
It has not worked before and will not to work. In the end, the American taxpayer is left standing holding the bag and our domestic energy prices are as expensive as ever.
Thank you, Obama.
Barack Obama might be crazy. Seriously. Yesterday, during his visit with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, President Obama said:
“If we get an agreement then, it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is: there will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish state of Israel and those two states, I think, will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do [HUH??]. I mean, you know, the United States and Canada has [sic] arguments once in a while, but they’re not the nature of arguments that can’t be solved diplomatically.”
The leader of the free world, ladies and gentlemen!
The last time the U.S. and Canada exchanged fire was during the War of 1812—and Canada was a British colony; the last time for Palestine and Israel was in the past few days. Aside from this, Canada and the U.S. are both peace-seeking, have a common heritage, don’t question each other’s right to exist, have vast territories, and neither of us is surrounded by countries bent on our destruction.
If he can make a statement like this, clearly, Obama fails to understand the situation in the Middle East. By oversimplifying it, he hurts his—and America’s—credibility with Israelis, Palestinians, and the rest of the region.
Would it be great if Israel and Palestine had a U.S.-Canada relationship? Of course. Could it ever happen? Nope.
And, there’s the fundamental problem with Obama and the Left. In making their policies, they rarely acknowledge what is; instead, they wish for a utopian what-could-be and decry the wisdom of “cynics.” As Thomas Sowell said, “Wishful thinking is not idealism. It is self-indulgence at best and self-exaltation at worst. In either case, it is usually at the expense of others.”